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Litigation and the Court of Public Opinion

High profile litigation and regulatory proceedings are increasingly shaped at the intersection of law and public opinion. Like political campaigns, preparation for high profile and high stakes litigation must include a strategy for producing a narrative that resonates as much on Wall Street and Main Street as it does in the courtroom. Litigation and other adjudicatory proceedings are routinely driven by and through print and social media and are centered on the pull and tug of lawyers, opinion elites, the financial community, policy advocates, and the court of public opinion. This course introduces students to the sophistication and rigor that ¿campaign¿ oriented litigation requires. The course will evaluate the evolving legal, financial, ethical and policy considerations in high profile litigation in the wake of litigation including Enron and AIG as well as cases involving class action securities litigation, the subprime collapse, and broken corporate mergers agreements; all of which have changed the legal and strategic framework of contemporary litigation. The course will also probe the role and nexus of the participants including: lawyers, judicial and regulatory bodies, media, bloggers, Congress, policy organizations, third party experts, institutional investors, and the public. Ethical and legal questions will be posed to students about the duties and implications for lawyers in these matters and how and to what extent the court of public opinion should be engaged for the benefit of clients; what relationships must law firms have to ensure litigation campaigns are successful; how and should third party¿s be leveraged to lend credence to the merits of the case; and what ¿success¿ means in the context of the attorney-client relationship. Using pleadings, case law, amicus briefs, game changing investigative journalism, and other materials, this highly interactive course will deconstruct recent high profile litigation and ask students to make value judgments in legal, ethical, and results-oriented terms. The cases examined will be based on the instructor¿s involvement in the case and will include presentations by counsel and media that were involved in the matter. Grading: 15 % Class Participation 45% Simulation exercise in which teams must devise and present an integrated legal and public strategy campaign; grade will include peer evaluations 40% Two written exercises Law Practice Areas and Subjects: Constitutional Law, Public Policy, Ethics, Litigation, Media Law, Contracts, Regulatory Enforcement, Securities Law, Corporate Law, Corporate Finance


Catalog Number: LITARB 608
Practice Areas: Civil Lit. and Dispute ResolutionConstitutional LawLegal Profession and RegulationLegal Skills Development


Course History

Spring 2014
Title: Litigation and the Court of Public Opinion
Faculty: Loeb, Harlan A. (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 16



Spring 2013
Title: Litigation and the Court of Public Opinion
Faculty: Loeb, Harlan A. (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 0



Spring 2012
Title: Litigation and Public Opinion
Faculty: Loeb, Harlan A. (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Type: Advocacy     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 0



Spring 2011
Title: Litigation and the Court of Public Opinion
Faculty: Loeb, Harlan A. (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Type: Advocacy     Credits: 2.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 11